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Best Weight Distribution System for Towing a 28 ATC Aluminum Trailer with a 2017 Ford F-350

Question:

I have a 2017 Ford F-350 SRW FX4 Supercrew with a 6.7 PSD. I am picking up an ATC 28’ front bedroom toy hauler with genset 985 lb toungue weight advertised from Missouri and towing back to Phx, Az. I’m looking for advice on weight distribution with the aluminum frame in mind. Some say the aluminum frame shouldn’t have a WDH attached. Others do. I’m asking the experts! I would prefer to have a Weigh-safe hitch for a 3” receiver and whatever else you recommend for weight distribution if, in fact, the aluminum 2”x8” frame supports it. I’m leaving in 2 weeks. What do you recommend. Thanks in advance!

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Helpful Expert Reply:

You do have a very interesting situation. When it comes to aluminum trailers we always defer to the manufacturer whether it is just a utility trailer or an RV trailer like your toy hauler. Aluminum frames can't always withstand the pressure of a weight distribution (WD) system but if the manufacturer has tested and approved a WD system then you are good to go. I was able to get a hold of someone from the warranty department at ATC and they said that using a WD system with their trailers would not void the warranty but I would call them yourself and be sure to write down who told you it was okay just in case. If you already know the VIN for your trailer that would help too.

Typically you want to choose a WD system based off of the loaded tongue weight (TW) of your trailer as if you were going camping. You would then add that with the weight of any cargo behind the rear axle of your 2017 Ford F-350 (known as Total Tongue Weight or TTW) and choose a WD system with a TW range that your TTW falls in the middle of. Since you are wanting to use one for the return ride when your trailer is empty though that means you need a WD system that can exchange the bars so you don't purchase an entirely new system when you load your trailer up.

The unloaded TW of your trailer it 985 lbs, as you mentioned, but the GVWR is 11,440 lbs. Since this is the max that your trailer can weigh, and since the TW of your trailer should be 10-15% of your loaded trailer, this means your TW range is 985 lbs - 1,716 lbs. We don't have a single WD system with that wide of a range but we do have systems from Blue Ox that allow you to change out the bars depending on your load.

Since your unloaded TW is 985 lbs I recommend going with the Blue Ox SwayPro # BXW1500 which has a TW range of 1,000 lbs - 1,500 lbs. This is slightly over what you need but it will work best and has integrated sway control. If you find that your TTW is higher than 1,500 lbs then you can use the Replacement Spring Bars # BXW4014 which will change your TW range to 1,500 lbs - 2,000 lbs. You will also need a hitch ball like part # 63840 and a larger shank like part # EQ90-02-4900 (for a 2-1/2" receiver) along with an adapter like part # BWRHXA2183 since you have a 3" receiver. We do have reducers for a 3" - 2" receiver but for as much weight as you are towing I would go with the above recommendation.

To calculate your TW you will need to either use a weight scale like part # 5780 or a method described in the linked article as the Weigh-Safe ball mounts are not compatible with a WD system. I have also attached some other helpful articles and review videos that you can reference.

helpful expert reply by:
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Jon G

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